New Record!

January always feels new to me, like a fresh start. Every time it comes around I try to wrap things up in December so I can dig into something new in the new year. This year December was finishing putting together the music for my upcoming recording with Jon Cowherd and I am so excited to record it in just a few short weeks! We have been playing together for four years and I can’t wait to finally capture what happens when we do. Music has always been where I find complete freedom to be myself both as a listener and a performer and the intimate duo format leaves so much space to explore that. This album really feels like it’s a long time coming, one of my compositions that will be recorded was written the week after I first played with Jon. Another was written in December 2017. If you would like to preorder the album and be a part of the process for every step we are doing a PledgeMusic campaign. You will get a lot of in depth behind the scenes updates and special treatment.

In preparation for this recording Jon and I will be playing the music one last time on January 22nd at 7 pm at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3. It would mean so much to me to have you join us there and send us off to record with your presence in the music! Improvised music is not complete without the listener, and I feel the audience at any performance gives as much to the music as the musicians.

We record in Princeton, NJ on January 26th and 27th. As part of this session we will be opening up the studio doors at 7 pm on January 27th for a house concert. Please consider this your formal invitation to join us! There will be wine and hors d’oeuvres. This concert will be recorded and the tracks may well end up on the final record. RSVP by email to elsanilssonmusic@gmail.com and I will send you the address and any other details.

As an afterparty to making this album my quartet and I will be back at The 55 Bar on January 29th at 7 pm, playing none of the music from the album. Well, maybe something. Jeff McLaughlin will be out of town on his own adventure and while we will miss him the incredible Sebastian Noelle will be joining us as a guest for this performance. Come by and see what he does, I can’t wait!

Please stay in touch with email or over socials, I love to hear from you. If you would like to follow along I am posting my personal preparation process to my Instagram story every day between now and the session. There may also be some pictures of cats. They help me prepare.

Lucia

 

It’s time for Lucia again! I love celebrating Lucia for the symbolism of the return of the light during the darkest time of the year. There is always hope, somewhere, even in the darkest moments. For the 4th year running my band and I will be celebrating this tradition at Rockwood Music Hall with our take on the traditional Lucia music. We will play on December 10th, 9 pm at Stage 3 and there will be cookies and glitter for all. Tickets can be found here. For those of you who have come to the previous celebrations; the favorites are still in the set, but there are also lots of new and fun arrangements. This year we are bringing in sounds from Argentina and Iceland along with the Balkan, Brazilian, Syrian and Americana flavors. Join us to spread some light!

I am also thrilled to announce that in January I will be making recording a new album, this time duo with the amazing pianist Jon Cowherd. As part of our recording we will be playing a house concert in Princeton, NJ on January 27th, 2018, so please stay tuned for more information on that. I am very excited about this record, and there will be a preorder up soon.  If you want some music sooner, or would like some as a stocking stuffer: “Salt Wind” is now available on Bandcamp!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and please stay in touch through Facebook and. I love hearing from you.

 

“Salt Wind” now available on BandCamp

The more insane the world around me gets, the more meaningful and personal my mission as an artist becomes. Music is about connection, about finding the common ground and experiencing our shared humanity in the moments music provides us. Both as a listener and a player, this is at the core of all the music I love. I take what I do very seriously and genuinely believe that it is the best way for me to affect positive change in the world, along with paying attention to the choices I make in life and treating my surroundings with respect.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with so many tumultuous events happening in the world, something I think we can all relate to. In these moments I turn to music. I listen, play and write until I find something that feels like a clear direction to help guide me out. Music’s ability to do this is one of the reasons I keep doing it, and feel beyond grateful to get to share it with you. My next opportunity is this coming Sunday at Rockwood Music Hall (8/27), when the Elsa Nilsson Quartet will return to Stage 1 at 6 pm. I hope you can join us!

I am also thrilled to share with you that “Salt Wind” continues to receive wonderful reviews and I’m deeply honored and thankful to all of you who helped us bring it to fruition through PledgeMusic. Now, since the PledgeMusic store is closed, some of the special exclusives are available on my brand new page on BandCamp. Head over today and check it out! The CD’s are there, as well as the behind-the-scenes photo books (which include detailed stories behind each of the songs as well), and high quality prints of the album artwork.

Enjoy the last of these summer days, and I will see you all out there in the fall if not sooner!

Summer Is Here!

photo: Butter Hu

Thank you so much to everyone who made it out to our performance at the 55 bar on June 26th. It was an amazing evening, and I am so grateful to have gotten to share it with you. And to Hot House Jazz for their wonderful write up. The 55 bar is one of my favorite clubs in New York City, you will find me there often listening to music. I love the place because of its tradition of musicians stretching themselves to their limits and beyond. It makes for a wonderful place to both hear and play music.  

Now, Summer is really here! And with it, lots of concerts. Beginning with this Wednesday, July 5th, 7 pm, for Wave Hill Park’s Sunset Wednesdays Series. My incredible friend Elizagrace Madrone and I have been working together on a brand new set of music inspired by our idea of what the grown up versions of Cicely Mary Baker’s flower Faeries mixed with the wives from Mad Max for this performance. Elizagrace has been crafting poems from the perspective of wild plants that I have been using as inspiration and lyrics for these new pieces. I cannot wait to debut this music at Wave Hill’s spectacular setting! This is one of the quartet’s rare all ages shows as well, so bring your kids and your parents.

Later that same evening I will be performing live on Som Do Brazil with The Mateadors. We will play some of our new music and talk about it live on the air, so tune in to WKCR at 11 pm Eastern time to check it out!

July 10th, 6 pm the Mateadors will be playing at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 1. Come dance it up in odd times to songs about Muay Thai, Beaches and Birds!

July 16th, 6 pm the Elsa Nilsson Quartet will be back at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 1 playing our original jazz and arrangements of Swedish Folk Music.

As always, please stay in touch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I love hearing from you!

 

Home

Creating “Salt Wind” was a magnificent experience and I am so grateful to have gotten to share the journey and my music with you! To all of you who came out to the performances during the CD release tour, thank you! It was beyond special to experience those moments with you and I will never forget them. “Salt Wind” has been getting some great press – you can read concert and album reviews as well as interviews here: The Daily Targum, The Flute JournalTimes UnionUmgås magazine, Midwest Record and The Flute View.

Today I am off to Europe on a tour with “Ommatidium”, a project I am proud to be a member of which combines traditional jazz with influences from around the globe. An ‘ommatidium’ is the term for each single vision-cell in a fly’s eye, a great metaphor for the musical mosaic generated by this ensemble. This project is also special in that each performance showcases compositions from every member of the group. We begin the tour in my home town of Gothenburg, and I can’t wait to see my ocean again.

Full tour dates:

April 7th @ Frilagret, Gothenberg SW – 6 pm doors/7 pm show
April 8th @ Nefertiti, Gothenburg, SW – 7 pm doors/8 pm show
April 10th @ Efterskolen for Scenekunst in Aarhus, DK
April 12th @ Splendor in Amsterdam, NL, 9 pm
April 16th @ ZeeZicht in Antwerp, B,
April 18th @ Frontsession Aarhus, DK, 1 pm
April 19th @ Ribe Ungdomsskole, Ribe, DK
April 20th @ Grundtvigs Højskole, Sealand, DK
April 21st @ Charlie Scotts Copenhagen, DK 10 pm

See you out there!

As always, please stay in touch with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I love hearing from you. 

CD Release Tour!

 

I’m so excited to announce this upcoming tour!

March 22nd, 8-11 pm New Brunswick Jazz Project, INC at 302 George St. New Brunswick, NJ
March 23rd 10-midnight with Chloe Fortay, The Plough and Stars 912 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
March 24th, House Concert in Princeton New Jersey.
March 25th 8 pm, Henrys Restaurant, 601 Pennsylvania SE, Wash, DC.
March 26th, 7-9 pm, Rockwood Music Hall CD RELEASE PARTY. Double bill with Camila Meza and the Nectar Orchestra
March 31st, 7 pm Madison Theater, 1036 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12208
More dates to come, stay tuned!

Pre-Order Salt Wind

 

Happy New Year! I want to begin with saying how grateful I am for you to have shared 2016 with me. It was a rollercoaster of a year, and I am glad to be welcoming in a new one. I know we will all need to step up and give everything we’ve got to make it the best we can for many reasons.

I also want to say thank you to all of you who have pre-ordered “Salt Wind” at PledgeMusic. It is such a joy to share the process with you! There are now eight updates about everything from the compositional process of the music on the album to the feeling of arriving at the studio for the recording session, exclusive downloads of tracks and more. One of the updates, a video of the album take of “Shift”, will be released this Friday, January 6th, for everyone’s enjoyment. If you want to see it sooner, head over to PledgeMusic and become a backer! 

There are a few performances coming up in January that I am thrilled to share with you as well. On January 6th, the day of the “Shift” Video release, the Elsa Nilsson Quartet will be celebrating its release at Rockwood Music Hall, stage 1, at 6 pm. We will be showcasing “Shift” of course, but also other compositions from “Salt Wind” along with one new one. I hope you can join us!

For those of you on the west coast, I will be performing with Amanda Ruzza for Bass Bash at NAMM in Anaheim, CA on January 20th at 6.30 pm. I will also be playing at various booths around the convention center so if you’re there, stop by and say hi! Keep an eye out on my social media pages for announcements of exact times and places.

Thank you for reading all the way to the end and for allowing me to share my music with you. The Pre-Order for “Salt Wind” is open only until February 3rd, so head on over and get your copy today! You can always grab a copy once it is released, but isn’t it more fun to be the first to have something? At PledgeMusic there’s also a chance to get some of my favorite tea along with the music, or Swedish candy or rosebud soup- Perfect for the cold winter ahead!

All the best for the New Year,

Elsa

Pre-Order “Salt Wind”

 

I was devastated by this election. Not only by the outcome, but by the incredibly negative campaigns. The amount of hate and fear left me feeling hollow. I had two choices; give up or dig deeper to create art with more love and humanity than ever before. I strongly believe that music heals and can be a common ground between otherwise disparate cultures, and alongside a slew of activist work, I feel that music and art is the best way for me to create something positive.

That being said, I have a new record coming out March 3rd 2017! It draws from all the influences I treasure including Jazz, Rock, Swedish traditional music, Bulgarian, Brazilian, African, and Syrian melodies and grooves. My intention was not to try to create an authentic example of any of these styles, but rather to be genuinely and openly influenced by them and express them in my own way. I feel this record has done just that.

The record is named “Salt Wind” and even though it is not coming out until March, I am thrilled to share with you that you can pre-order it right now on PledgeMusic! By pre-ordering the album you will become a part of the process of creating it. You’ll receive the singles early, be sent a download of the full record early and get physical copies of your signed CD or Vinyl weeks before the release, not to mention all of the little exclusives that will be also available during the pre-order run.

I am so grateful to be able to share my music with you both through studio recordings and live performance.

Blue Note and Rockwood

What a trip! I love going to California. The smell of redwoods and dry grass (and avoiding poison oak on little trails) is like a fluffy blanket for my soul. The NFA convention was beyond what I expected, in flute nerdiness, fantastic music, and wonderful new friends. I tried so many great instruments! Spending time with my brother in LA is always a pleasure and I love getting to see that city through his eyes. For the last week of the trip I headed up north for my loop tour with Tammy Scheffer. We started and ended in San Francisco and did a circuit up to Redway and down to Monterey. The whole thing was very loopy (pun intended), and a total blast. Highlights include visiting the Avenue of the Giants and relaxing on the beach of Santa Cruz. After a week of playing exclusively with my loop pedal (and some improvised numbers with Tammy), I am beyond excited to play with other musicians again! On that note, there are some great things coming up in September.img_3622

Ruzza Ruzza and the Matédors, the collective group with Amanda Ruzza, Jeff McLaughlin, Lautaro Burgos and I, is playing at the Blue Note Jazz Club on Saturday, September 3rd. Doors open at midnight. We will be playing compositions by me (from the “F*** The World, Let’s Dance” series), compositions about soccer (football) by Amanda and a great piece by Jeff McLaughlin as well- You don’t want to miss it. 

On Saturday, September 24th at 6pm, the Elsa Nilsson Quartet will return to Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 1. We’re excited to be performing new music that will appear on our upcoming release in 2017. Some of them took on a whole new persona in the studio and I can’t wait to play these songs for you.

See you out there and, as always, I love to hear from you via email or any of the social medias!

 

Recording Time!!!

Elsa_FluxStudios_EmailRESTonight my band and I head up to Woodstock for 3 days of uninterrupted music making at Applehead Studios. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am! This record is the culmination of three years of building an artistic vision for my instrument that takes the flute out of its usual boxes. With the help of the fantastic fellows in my band I have been exploring new avenues for expression as well as combining new and old influences. We will be recording original jazz and arrangements of Swedish traditionals with influences ranging from Brazil to Syria. I can honestly say that the music sounds exactly how I want it to and I cannot wait to put it to tape (quite literally, we will be using some straight to 2 track tape) and share it with you.

Speaking of sharing, I would love to invite you along to share the experience of music making in real time from the studio. I will be posting lots to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Feel free to follow and comment, it makes it seem like you are there with us. There will even be some live streams, Facebook permitting. The studio has goats. There will be pictures of the goats.

It is immensely humbling to have an artistic vision and have so many talented people come together to make it happen. I feel so lucky! 

Stay in touch, I want you along for the ride!